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Alex Wieser

6 Ways to Improve Your Social Media Presence to Land Your Dream Job

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As young adults, we know that first impressions can mean the difference between getting offered the job of our dreams and yet another night spent searching online instead of binge watching Grey’s Anatomy.  But what we often fail to realize is that before we even get on the phone or meet face-to-face with an employer, he or she has already formed a solid first impression.  And it’s all thanks to our activity on social media accounts.  Social media provides a unique outlet for self-expression, but also for employers to learn about the real you, the one they can’t always see through a formal interview.  It's of utmost importance that we take the time to improve our virtual selves so that we put our best foot forward in every way possible and make sure our first impressions help, not hinder, our path to success.

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1) Be cautious of Twitter  

A teacher of mine and long time employee at news corporation Al Jazeera recently told me that when examining future employees, the first thing he does is log on to Twitter.  In fact, he believes that the impression he can gather from Twitter is far more indicative of the person’s personality and values than the impression he can get from any other social media site.  Why?  Because Twitter is a platform for sharing a constant stream of thoughts, and for commenting on social events.  With that in mind, next time you draft a tweet, be sure to be conscious of the image you are portraying through your words.  If you feel that you have misrepresented yourself in any way through past tweets, either go back and delete inappropriate tweets or set your account to private.  You want to eliminate the possibility of losing an opportunity because of a silly insensitive joke or a tweet that makes you look irresponsible.

2) Filter your Photos

Even though you may be careful about the photos you post, your friends may not be as conscientious.  Appearing in a photo that makes you look reckless or that's captioned inappropriately could make you less desirable to an employer, even if you weren’t the original poster.  Facebook has a setting that allows you to approve all tagged photos before they appear on your profile, so be sure to utilize this feature to ensure that only the photos you really want to represent you make it to your profile.

3) Engage with positive people and pages

Improving your presence doesn’t have to just mean ‘stop doing this,’ or ‘no more of that.’  Instead, improve your presence by increasing your interactions with pages that will reflect positively on you.  For example, post intelligent comments on news stories that interest you, or share photos and videos of events that reflect your interests in a positive way.  This will show employers that you are someone who formulates their interests around their passions and seeks to engage with these interests in a social way.  These activities are a good indicator of your communication and collaboration skills.

4) Use multiple platforms to your advantage

Instead of connecting your accounts, use your Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat to show off different sides of you.  By allowing the employers to see all the things that interest you, the traits that embody you, and the ideas you believe in through different media platforms, you give them the opportunity to learn about you before you even work your interview charm! 

It's increasingly important to represent your online self as someone employers are interested in, believe in, and want as part of their team.

5) Share unique content

Social media is a creative way to supplement your resume.  If you have any projects posted online that you're proud of, such as blogs or YouTube videos, include the links in your bios or posts!  A potential employer could view these work samples, providing them with the opportunity to see your skills in action.  Additionally, these projects can be good conversation topics in an interview setting.

6) Network

Aside from representing yourself to employers, social media can be a great tool for interacting with colleagues or members of the professional community.  Create a LinkedIn profile, and connect with teammates and coworkers.  Don’t be afraid to ask questions, and remember to interact and comment on your colleagues’ posts as well.  The ability to build and manage relationships with your colleagues and teammates demonstrates your interpersonal skills,  which is also appealing to future employers.

As more and more social media platforms emerge, it's becoming increasingly important to represent your online self as someone who employers are interested in, believe in, and want as part of their team.  Every few months, make sure you re-visit this list to update your profiles and ensure you're on the right path.  And always remember to think before you post; a positive and polished social media presence will go a long way in achieving your goals.

 

 

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